The company owner and/or production manager relies on the schedule to communicate with clients and to meet production goals. But if they alone create the schedule, the field staff may feel the goals are unreachable. If the lead carpenter helps create, or at least evaluates, the schedule, it will make for a smooth transition between management and production.

Time frame vs. budget.

Does the amount of time allotted for the schedule roughly compare to the cost of the manpower needed to complete the project? Include time for the lead carpenter to manage the job. The team should discuss any disparities between labor and budget.

Scope of work.

Does the schedule allow time to complete every aspect detailed in the scope of work? Often schedules leave out extra time for figuring out unusual parts of the job, thinking they will be worked out in the field. Check carefully to make sure the schedule includes the complete job.

Time frame for each segment.

Check that each step of the project can be accomplished in the time allowed by the budget. Historical data will help, but a lead carpenter's experience is valuable here. The analysis should include the inevitable weather delays as well as considerations for subcontractor scheduling.

What about the subs?

Do the subs have enough time to complete their work? You need to avoid having several subs on the job at once. This can result in hard feelings and poor job quality.

Hidden promises.

Outside of the schedule, a lead should ask the salesperson about any additional promises or client expectations. Are they realistic? If not, revise the schedule and address the bad news early. --Tim Faller, Field Training Services,